Let’s face it, in today's challenging environment, if you don’t have the leaders to make the important decisions, your business will fail! Therefore, it’s critical for those organisations committed to long-term success to recognise and nurture their leaders of tomorrow.

We can all agree that it’s best to find your future leaders from within the organisation, as they will be familiar with the culture, structure and processes. But, how do you identify them in the first place?

To help, here are 7 ways to identify your high potential. If you are not responsible for talent, still read on as these tips may be able to help you become a better leader!


An individual’s performance reflects competence in the current job. It is a factor to keep in mind, but you will need to look beyond performance. You really need to be aware of the person’s potential and aspirations, too.

Despite their performance being at the higher end of the scale, some people are just not cut out to be senior leaders. They don’t have the capacity to take a senior leadership role and are content to be where they are. This is why potential should always be the primary measure of future leaders, over performance.


Any potential leader will already be engaged with the organisation’s purpose and goals, viewing their own professional achievements within the context of company growth.

Ask yourself: “Does this person go beyond his or her job to drive change and deliver results for the organisation?” If the answer is yes, then you’ve probably identified someone with the makings of a future leader.


You’ll find people in any organisation that make things happen, while others prefer to sit on the sidelines and wait for things to happen. The former make themselves invaluable to the progress and completion of projects, by making decisions - they have LEADER written all over them!


Leaders aren’t afraid to hold themselves accountable for failure. If you see an individual shying away from taking responsibility for their actions because it might reflect poorly on them, then they aren’t leader material.


Give extra responsibilities to people you believe have high potential. Throw them in at the deep end and keep an eye on how they swim.

Do they handle the extra pressure or do they find it difficult to multitask? All leaders have to perform more than one task at a time, at the best of their abilities.


Seek out people who are adept at fostering internal and external social networks to support both their aims and those of the organisation?

When you find them, you will have someone who places importance on relationships, with an interest in people and an ability to use this understanding for the good of the organisation.


All great leaders have great communication skills. When they want to get a message across, they seem to do it effortlessly. So, look for the people who have the ability to explain ideas in a clear and concise manner - and the ability to listen!

If you are can identify people who match up to this list, you then need to start preparing this person for a future leadership role in your organisation.